With no signs of reconciliation in sight, former allegiances are dissolving under the pressure of new relationships and shifts in power, both romantic and political. Andrews Nichols’ addition to the Presidential ticket is cracking his and Mellie almost-affair history wide open, while the return of inside trader Adnan Salif is unraveling Harrison’s usually calm demeanor (He’s literally sleeping with the enemy).
Everyone’s scrambling to keep a leash on their secrets and maintain new loyalties. Did we mention that Mama Pope is back? And with ties to Harrison, no less. Exhausted with the old regime? Well, it looks like and a new world order is officially at play. —Niki McGloster
1. “I am not a hen. I’m am not a prize at the State Fair. You cannot win me.” —Olivia
The episode opens with a squabble between Liv and Fitz over Jake’s new position as her pretend boyfriend. But Olivia wants to make two things clear: she will not be a pawn in the two’s power play, and she can no longer be Fitz’s “public whore.”
2. “Someone needs to look out for you, be on your side. God knows it’s never gonna be your husband, so why shouldn’t it be me?” —Andrew Nichols
Andrew and Mellie’s history begins during the era when Fitz’s father raped Mellie. He saved her back then, following her suicide attempt, and now he’s covering for the drugs she used to do it.
3. “I’m violent now.” —Quinn
When Liv catches Quinn spying on her dinner date with Papa Pope, she tries to coax her to come “home.” The ex-Gladiator pulls out a gun on Liv, but her teary eyes and quivering lip are telling–Quinn’s crumbling under the surface.
4. “Wine is not beer and popcorn is most definitely not food.” —Jake
Jake is a little fed up with playing Liv’s beard (and being at her beck and call). Therefore, it’s going to have has its demands – “Stock your fridge!”
5. “What does that feel life? To be so hot for someone, so turned on by them that you would put everything you have ever worked for at risk. Does it feel good? Is it an amazing high? Or is it so intense that it actually hurts like a fire in your belly?” —Mellie
Mellie sounds like she’s addressing Fitz’s feelings for his mistress (hi, Liv), but we all know she’s just finally examining her feelings for the Vice President elect out loud. Although she experiences the same desires Fitz has felt for Olivia…
6. “You actually think that we are the same. Olivia, no matter what I went through back then, no matter what happened and why, when I was faced with the chance to cheat, I kept my knees together and said no. We are not the same.” —Mellie
…Mellie denies being similar to Liv. Because she shut down a budding affair with Andrew once upon a time, she feels better than Liv? The episode ends with a kiss between the First Lady and the Vice President elect… so there’s that.
7. “There’s been a lot of talk about loyalty in this race…” —Andrew
In front of Mellie (the married woman he loves) and Hollis, who is also funding Sally’s campaign against Fitz, the Vice President elect addresses loyalty. Well played, Shonda.
8. “I may be dirty but my money isn’t.” —Adnan Salif
While the story about Adnan Salif is still a bit murky, here’s what we do know: Cyrus helped her back into the country and she’s helping fund Fitz’s re-election campaign.
9. “You groomed me and petted me and trained me to sit at your feet. But that doesn’t mean I’m a puppy, Liv. That just makes me a very loyal monster. So I didn’t go too far. I went exactly as far as my leash allows, and you hold the leash.” —Huck
Fans love Huck, but for weeks, Liv has put her socially awkward killer at arm’s length for torturing Quinn. However, in hindsight, Quinn’s situation is something Liv indirectly orchestrated seasons ago.